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9.23.2007

News of the day, 9/23

Hey everyone. I'm getting a late start after getting home at 1:15 this morning. The good news is that traffic wasn't an issue by the time I left Jordan-Hare. Nary a peep around the stadium. I guess New Mexico State isn't the BCS power it used to be.

I'll have plenty of updates this afternoon after, say, 4:30. So check back then for some fresh information. I took some time after last night's game to assess the team in general. You can find that assessment on my Saturday blog entry below.

Until I return, keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars.

Thanks for stopping by to peep the HOTTEST Auburn blog on the 'net.

The Auburn-Florida game fell to ESPN (CBS picked first and took Alabama-FSU) so the Tigers will kickoff at 7 p.m. CDT in Gainesville this weekend.

Tuberville said moments ago that S Mike McNeil and LB Chris Evans will be undergoing MRI exams shortly to diagnose knee injuries. Both were hurt last night. Apparently S Eric Brock was moved to linebacker in some situations last night (I thought he simply was in a different alignment) and will stay there for the time being. OLB Merrill Johnson (shoulder) still is out.

UPDATE: DC Will Muschamp said Evans is fine. I saw Evans and he didn't seem injured. Had a minimally invasive wrap on his right knee. Coaches were worried that McNeil had injured his meniscus. MRI showed otherwise. Muschamp didn't seem worried.

QB Brandon Cox will start the Florida game. I'll let you Cox haters make your feelings known in the comments section below. When playing non-panicky football, Cox gives Auburn its best chance to win. Period.

Just to give you a glimpse into what writers have to deal with: WR coach Greg Knox, whom I have grown to like over a period of nine years, said we were "dwelling on the negatives" today when asking about the Saturday drops. They officially dropped three passes. There were 24 passes attempted. At least three of those were thrown away. So receivers dropped three out of approximately 18 legitimate passes. That's not being negative. That's just being real.

10 Comments:

Blogger Justin said...

I'm glad to see them beat a team that they're supposed to beat. For whatever reason, I find it discouraging that they have to run a fake punt against New Mexico State. I'd want to save that for I don't know... Florida, LSU, Georgia, Alabama?

I know this game will help confidence wise. I just hope it's not a false sense of confidence.

2:10 PM  
Blogger Jay G. Tate said...

I think they were just mixing it up with the fake punt. I'm sure that was done with full understanding that Florida and LSU and other opponents will see it.

Everyone in the program (and outside the program) knows Florida is a different beast.

3:42 PM  
Anonymous Kyle said...

I think Cox should start, but I don't want another situation like against South Florida, when he keeps committing turnover after turnover and we still refuse to take him out. Start him, but try not to be ignorant about the situation. Also, do you think that the decision by Tuberville to insert Cox back in for the last drive against Miss. St. was a decision to save his own skin? I personally think he was going with the safe decision so he technically couldn't be blamed for the loss because he put in his 5th year senior.

4:02 PM  
Blogger Jay G. Tate said...

Coaches think that way at times, though I don't believe that was Tuberville's motivation for playing Cox during that last drive against MSU.

Cox got them to the 9. They came pretty close. I don't think the decision to play Cox in that situation hurt the Tigers. Cox hurt the Tigers earlier in the game. Not late.

4:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jay,

Wow -- more injuries. I think the inordinate amount of injuries is a key factor in some of the inconsistency we've witnessed over the first four games.

Is there any common thread or explanation for the rash of injuries other than bad luck? For example, a certain type of shoe (more likely to stick in the turf)? What about the linebackers -- so many of them have been injured this year. Are they doing anything different in practice from the rest of the team? How about the pace of practice in August? Did we wear down our guys before the season began -- making them more injury prone? Thanks for your insights!

Clint

6:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I say start Burns and let Cox see how the game moves along from a def standpoint. The not starting may have helped Cox. By the way any word on if our punt return team went and hugged the NMSU snapper after the game?

6:48 PM  
Blogger Jay G. Tate said...

I'm of the opinion that injuries are random events. I think Chris Evans is OK. I think Tray Blackmon will play this week. The OLs who are injured -- I'm pretty sure the coaches prefer their replacements at this point.

Cox is going to start the Florida game. They'll have Kodi packages ready to go. Cox is their guy right now, though.

7:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Even though you have grown to like Greg Knox, I don't think I can say that he's doing a good job at all with our receivers. Surely Hawthorne and Slaughter are great, but they don't look great right now. Is that coaching?

8:11 PM  
Blogger Jay G. Tate said...

I was saying that I like Greg Knox on a professional level. He's a tricky guy to really know. He keeps his distance from the media.

If you think Hawthorne is great, you know something I don't.

I have a sneaky suspicion that Sgt. (Chris) Slaughter is going to have a bigger role this week. They desperately need wideouts who catch the ball. He may weigh 160 pounds, but Chris Slaughter can catch a football.

8:29 PM  
Blogger Thomas said...

I agree with you on if Cox plays well then he gives us a better chance at winning. Key word is IF. So far this season Cox has not shown that he can handle the speed or power of SEC football. He has shown that he is scared and can not lead the offensive or manage the game. He played OK Sat night but once again he turned the ball over leading to him having 8 or 9 turnovers, which leads all SEC Teams (key word TEAMS). I believed that it will do him good to be pulled for a TRUE Freshman. Maybe that will put a spark under his backside to step up and do what is his being PAID to do. (PAID = free ride to college) The coaches need to give more and more of the playbook to Burns, because Cox has prove time and time again that he right now is too scared to do his job. Step up and be the man.

9:32 AM  

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